Square Enix is trying to get full-fat Final Fantasy 15 on Nintendo Switch
Initial results 'weren't satisfactory', but there are several options on the table.
A few short weeks back, Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata hinted that Square Enix was looking into bringing his game to Nintendo's Switch console, and now we've an idea of what exactly that might look like - even if it's still very much in the planning stage.
There was some speculation that the Switch would get Final Fantasy 15: Pocket Edition, a mobile spin-off that takes the original game's story and delivers it across 10 episodic chapters tailored for touchscreens, but it sounds as if Square Enix is attempting to get a version of the console game running on Nintendo's hardware.
"We're actually doing very specific technical investigations into what's possible at the moment," Tabata told us at Square Enix's Shinjuku offices ahead of this week's Tokyo Game Show. "Where we are at the moment - we've completed those tests and have worked out where the ground lies. We're currently in the middle of the discussion and debate about what we should be doing, and how to realise that on the Switch.
"The other thing - you see the mobile version, the PC version, one thing we value is to optimise the way the game plays and the experience for the individual hardware it's on rather than a one-size fits all approach. We can't currently announce anything - we haven't come to a full decision on the best way to do it yet. We're having very open, frank discussions with Nintendo at the moment about what they think is the best thing to do. It's all under investigation."
Last week Bethesda made the surprise announcement that it's bringing the recent Doom and the forthcoming Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus to Nintendo Switch, which gives us some cause for optimism when it comes to seeing current-gen console ports on the hybrid hardware. Whether that'd be possible for Final Fantasy 15, meanwhile, seems uncertain right now - though there are options that Square Enix are open to exploring.
"Honestly, when we did the technical test to see if we could use the same native engine we used on other console versions on the Switch, we tried to run it there, the results weren't satisfactory," said Tabata. "It wasn't what you'd want from a final game. It doesn't mean that's the end of that - we're looking at the options, like the customisation of the engine. To give you an example how open those discussions are - we're talking to Epic at the moment, about maybe what we could possibly do there, and if we did a Switch version maybe we'd be able to partner and do something there. Their Unreal environment is just amazing, and will be very useful. You have to have all those options on the table - without that it'd be impossible to make a decision about what we can do on that platform."
Tabata, meanwhile, has yet to be able to pick up a Switch in Japan, where Nintendo's console has proven extremely popular - and he's pinning his hopes on getting one this Christmas.